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USNS Saturn Replenishes Comfort

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070828-29
Release Date: 8/28/2007 4:54:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW/SW) Joshua Karsten, USNS Comfort Public Affairs

BAHIA MALAGA, Colombia (NNS) -- Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) conducted vertical replenishment operations with supply ship USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) off the coast of Bahia Malaga on Aug. 27.

Using MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Comfort received more than 200 pallets of cargo which included medical and dental supplies as well as food and ship’s store items for the crew.

Comfort’s Supply Department has been coordinating with Norfolk-based Saturn for the past month to receive supplies. Cmdr. Frank Futcher, Comfort’s supply officer, said that medical and dental supplies must be purchased in the United States and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Comfort has purchased food, ship’s store and cleaning items from local host nations, but with few sources in South and Central America for familiar American merchandise, Saturn delivered a variety of essential and morale-lifting cargo for the crew.

“Without this replenishment, we would not be able to provide the same level of medical and dental service that we have already provided for previous countries,” Futcher said. “We needed these supplies to support us through the remaining countries on this deployment, so this was a critical logistics on load as well as a morale booster.”

The ship will continue its mission throughout September and October, visiting the partner nations of Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname.

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